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Dear Seth,
This sunday you had Elaine Paige on Seth Speaks. She told a story about the black cat at her door. Well when I got out of my car after listening there was a BLACK CAT at my door. This is no joke. I first though I was hallucinating, but I pinched myself and then I knew I wasn’t. I just had to tell I’m totally obsessed with you and I just had to tell you.
Sincerely (in a creepy way)
Tina

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Any idea who your guests will be next week (Oct. 13th) at Don’t Tell Mama? We saw Christianne Noll a couple of years ago & loved you both. Thanks!

Susan

Wowza!
I haven’t done Chatterboxes for the last year!
I’m taping my new talk show SETH SPEAKS with a live audience every Wednesday at 5. That’s taken the place of the Chatterbox
If ur not in town then, it plays every Sunday at 5 on siriusxm 107 STARS!
-SETH

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i’m listening to your show for the very first time on sirius and i don’t even like broadway!

i hope you are as enthusiastic in “real life” as you are on radio.

you are a delight! wow!

adrienne

Hilarious! Thanks!!!

-SETH

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I love your Big Fat Broadway and I listen daily. My mother has dementia, but when I put on your show in the car, she listens attentively and sings the old show tunes that you play on the radio.She looks forward to listening to you and at those times, she seems almost “with it”. Being Jewish, we love your shtick. I have a question for your Broadway Showdown: Who was in the original cast of Fiddler that later became a TV game show host? Bert Covey
Jeff

What a nice email

And great question!!!!

-SETH

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Thank you so much for Broadway Nights. I’ve been bringing the audio version in the car and listening non-stop. On my ride home from work (which is about 25 minutes), I’d park in the driveway and keep listening, wasting gas, although I could have just unplugged my iPhone, brought it inside, and listened there. I just couldn’t stop! Anyway, thank you, thank you. About a year ago, my therapist asked me if I’d been to Don’t Tell Mama. I tend to somehow bring some part of Broadway into every session, whether it be lyrics or situations to explain how I was feeling, or just talk about what I’d seen. Anyway, she recommended, and I haven’t gone yet, but it’s now a the top of the list! So many laughs from your work.

Tom

Thanks so much!  PLEASE write a review on audible.com.  I just got a ONE STAR review and it pulled my rating lower than Bea Arthur’s range!

-SETH

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Hi Seth,

Don’t know if you recall me. I sent you an email a couple years ago about the Q-guide to Broadway in which I completely missed the fact that it was geared towards homosexual theatre fans and proceeded to rant about how you neglected straight theatre nerds like myself…and so on…well I have a story for you that I imagine I will tell someday when I am famous on Broadway and you interview me.

I was stationed in Sicily for three and a half years. My wife was pregnant and there was an announcement in the base newpaper about a community theatre production of “The Music Man”. The performance dates were the same as my wife’s due date so I asked her if she minded me auditioning and potentionally missing our son’s birth. She agreed and wouldn’t you know it I was cast as Harold.

There were two days of performances planned but four shows on the schedule. We performed at noon and 6:00 pm the first day and 2:00 and 5:30 the second day. A pretty grueling schedule to be playing Harold Hill on.

On opening night my wife started labor pains. She wasn’t ready to be admitted to the hospital so I went to the theatre for the second day of performances. At intermission of the matinee I walked backstage and something went into my eye. The pain was so unbearable that I was throwing hangars and jumping up and down. I took a breath, got into my second act costume and asked Mayor Shinn who happened to be a doctor if he could help me. We flushed my eye and I went on with the show, but anyone on the front row could tell that my right eye was constantly slamming itself shut and slowing becoming more and more red.

In between shows I ran home (literally) to check on my wife. She was in a great deal of pain but holding up. I ran back (literally) to the theatre and went on for the second show still with my eye throbbing and looking worse and worse.

My wife’s OB was in the audience and came to the dressing room during intermission. He asked me to bring her to the hospital after the show to check her status.

So after the final curtain call I hightailed it back to get my wife and while she sat under monitors in the maternity ward I went to the emergency room to get my eye checked out. This was an hour after the show and my heart rate was 128. The poor guy taking my vitals thought I was going into cardiac arrest.

I got my eye taken care of and about twenty-four hours later my son, Garvon Eugene Golden, was born. 7 lbs 0.5 oz.

Thomas Golden

a. I totally remember you!

b. what the hell was wrong with your eye????

-SETH

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I was wondering if you would post a video of the show with Adam Pascal. Especially at the end when he sings, Music of the night”. I’m a big fan, and do not have the radio station you broacast on, and do not live in NY.
Thanks so much in advance

Susan

Yes…I will get it together eventually and transfer it.  I don’t have enough interns!

-SETH

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Okay, now I’m more envious than ever following your announcement you’re going to Idina Menzel’s apartment! I’m a middle aged professional nanny who listens to Sirius 77 all day. You’ve talked about finally meeting people you fantasized about meeting. In my 50+ years, I’ve never considered myself an all out fan of anyone until I heard Idina Menzel. My fantasy is to be the nanny for those “chocolate” babies Idina has been talking about.

Keep the music coming! The babies I care for are growing up right with Seth’s Broadway music playing all day long.

Shea

I’m hoping to bring Idina to the Chatterbox to sing the song I coached her on.  It was for the Barbra Kennedy Center Celebration. She sang DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE.  Keep listening!!!!

-SETH

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Okay. On your layout, if you scroll down a ways and look to the left, it says “And cut.” Well if you aren’t looking carefully enough, it says “Anal cut.” Ha. Just thought you would want to know.

Shawn

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Hey, Seth:
What happened to Tale of Two CIties? One minute I’m swept away with the music played on your show and the next I find out they’re closing.

Most of the reviews I read on-line were pretty positive.

What’s the inside scoop? WIll they take it on the road?
Thanks.

Sharon Warriner

Most of the reviews I read were very bad but the show held on for a while.  I don’t know what the next step, but lots of the people in it have Facebook pages so send ‘em a message!

SETH

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You: They think that the most creative drag name I can come up with for Seth Rudetsky is Beth Rudetsky? A single letter change? Come on! If anything, I’d use my favorite (and most offensive) drag name I’ve ever heard: Amber Alert.

Me: My favorite drag name? Wilma Fingerdoo.

You like?

Russ

a. Gross

b. Brava

-SETH

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Hi Seth -
I just wanted to let you know that I finished Broadway Nights (thanks a million for the signed copy) and I loved it! So funny but also a good story and the Broadway/NYC references were great.

Rachel

PS - as a PS87 mom, I’ve seen you a drop off in the am, but I haven’t wanted to bug you (or my kids) to tell you in person so here’s my impersonal email….

Feel free to bug me and say hi to my doggie (Maggie) while I’m dropping off Juli.  If you get  chance, write me an amazon.com review!!!  thanks!

-SETH

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You suggested a SIDE SHOW song for my girls’ cabaret night, but that musical has actually been done to death around here. Anything less known that would work for sisters?

Nancy Morre

Ohio from WONDERFUL TOWN?  Perfect Strangers from DROOD?

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I love love love you!
lost you when i switched from satellite to whatever else it is. you are back on my car radio. You have taught
me so much.
Am originally from chicago and tried to get into oberlin in the 60’s. too many joints.
am now a 57 year old nurse in san antonio,tx. have 2 of your books and countless music that you have brightened my life with.
so glad you are back in my life. you have the best show ever on radio. love the gossip,honesty and catty moments!
had to let you know how i feel!
musette

Thanks!!! Always great to read that

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Hey Seth, have you ever looked into something in great detail and then find that you are seeing that thing all over? It may have been all over before but now that you’re awareness of it has been heightened, it seems like you’re seeing it more often than ever? I just did an 8 page essay on Campbells Soup and now there you are in your bathroom with that mod Warhol shower curtain. It’s just so weird!

Here’s something for you to enjoy:
YouTube Preview Image
[YouTube seems to have removed my favorite Campbells commercial, the one with the creepy alien. Maybe it's because I watched it 32 times in a row... once for every kind Warhol painter? Anybody? Just me.]

Have a good one!

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Seth,
Just finished Broadway Nights and was literally slowing the reading pace towards the end in an effort to prolong it for as long as possible.
It’s one of those reads that I could swear was written exclusively for me and that I would be the only one who “really” gets it. Not true obviously, but I adored it! Will there be more?
Matt Grue

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hey seth!
I was wondering, I know you saw it live.
but I really want to hear the Godspell 2000 off-broadway cast live, bootleg, or anything.
know where to find it ? hahahahaha. thank-you.you’re the best.

Louis

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are you going to be appearing in LA anytime in the near future?

Leah

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Hello, first of all, you are extremely funny, talented, and have an amazing history of broadway “culture” and i love listening to 77 everyday. I was wondering since you are my friend on facebook, if you could deconstruct the video of me singing electricity? I am a musical theater major at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Highschool. Also, legally brown is extremely funny!! If you could watch that video of me that would make my life!! I have been playing the piano by the way for 8 years and you are one of the few people that inspire me to keep practicing singing, acting, dancing, and piano!! Awsome♪♫

Justin Brown

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My 11 year-old son and I enjoy your show.

I just read your bio this evening and when I saw Dreamgirls mentioned, I wondered if you might happen to know my son’s director of his Christmas production (and his tap teacher) when, lo and behold, I read on and see you do, indeed, know Mr. Danny Herman.

I’ll be sure to mention this to him the next time I talk to him.

Happy Holidays from Austin!

PS Loved your theatrical accounts from elementary through high school!

Joan Blake

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Loved loved loved Rosie Live! Soooooooooooooooooooooo funny. I even loved a few of the flubs (hey girls, thats live tv!). I have two words for NBC…Pick Up!

Jim V

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Hey Seth! I’d love it if you’d do a deconstruction of Zanna Don’t! All the crazy fast rhyming and counterpoint stuff . . . mmmmm!

Ian

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Seth, …Have been reading your column on Playbill.com for a while. …Saw the RITZ, and now can listen to you on XM Broadway. I was a little put out when the 2 radio companies merged because several formats changed, but getting to hear you is one of the greatest changes. Just retired from NYC Bd of Edu after 34 years, and bought my first ticket for a Wednesday matinee. Your show at the visitors’ center is a definite for me.
As for the broken window, just pretend that you are on a cruise and that the air wafting in is tropical. They say (I don’t know who THEY are!) it is mind over matter. So think warm.

Stay well, stay happy, and keep loving your family and BROADWAY!!!
FSR

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I truly hope the heat in your apartment gets fixed … I remember how cold it can be in New York in the Winter. Cuddle up!!

But seriously, listening to your show tonight and thought you should know that Sandra Warfield was married to the great American tenor James McCracken, and not the the baritone William Warfield. Good guess, but … wrong.

Keep up the great show. You and Met Opera are the only reasons I pay for radio.

Drew Wofford

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Hey Seth,
I’ve been tracking the weekly net profts of Broadway shows lately, and I am very concerned. Spamalot is closing, Hairspray, Spring Awakening, and now 13 the Musical! I am Soooo concerned. I sent in a resume for 13 the musical, but I don’t believe that they’ll have an open call now for the final 2 months of the production, however, they might start a touring production. Thiis news just ruined my weekend. Are you feeling the effects of Broadway Shows closing? Do you have any tips on auditioning for a Broadway Show?
-Thanks: Dorothy

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Seth,
I would like talk to you to publicize the new CD, Patti LuPone at Les Mouches (it’ genesus, why and how I wrote it, and it’s amazing response then and now, 28 years later. Thanks,
David Lewis

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Could you have the Billys (Trent Kowalik, David Alverez, and Kiril Kulish) from Billy Elliot on a Chatterbox? Or any of the other members of the cast? I was never terribly interested in the show, saw it by chance, and absolutely fell in love with it. The entire cast is insanely talented, but especially the Billys; I can’t believe how dedicated they are and how much they love their craft. Anyways, I love your deconstructions and the Chatterbox, keep up the good work!!

Courtney

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Oh. Em. Gee. Why did they pick BPM over The Beat? Your DJing was what kept me entertained on my drive home from work each day on the West Coast and I loved the music you would play. I don’t care how repetitive it got, it’s way better than that electro-bullsh*t-remix-crap that “DJ Armando” plays. Six hours straight of his music on weeknights makes my ears bleed. The Beat is literally what made me subscribe to Sirius after my trial period expired on my new car. Unless BPM or the other dance channels can pick up the slack, I’m canceling my service in one month.

Chris

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AHH!! YAAY! YOU’RE ON XM NOW! :] that makes me so happy! what channel?

Carina

I’m on the Broadway channel which I think is 72…every weekday 2pm to 8pm Eastern, and saturdays from 9 in the morning til 4 -seth

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Hi Seth! I’m a big fan of yours, having discovered you a few years ago on Sirius radio… I made it to one of your Chatterboxes over the summer when I was in New York, and you’re even more ahmahzing in person! (I think at some point there ought to be a standard spelling for that.. unless there already is and I missed it) Just wanted to say that I absolutely loved your Daily Shoutout today with you and Jack Plotnick at his eerily 70s apartment. Hilarious!
Writing to you from my home in a little town called Los Angeles, the cultural wasteland that it is and that depending on your level of optimism you are now probably seeing it as…
I love what you do and love the theatre, so please keep it up!

Barton

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Hey Seth,
I wanted to know if you knew of any Broadway/Musical Theatre magazines.
Thanks,
Allie

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Hey Seth! I love listening to you on Sirius!!

Since you are such the musical theatre guru (loved you on The Search for Elle Woods) could you throw out names of soprano uptempo songs? I have been working tons of songs with my voice teacher for my college auditions, but soprano uptempo songs seem to be so hard to find! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Keep up the excellent work!

Alicia

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Hey Seth! Met you at WC opening tonight. I’m the Billy Elliot cast representative at the Green event. I’m guessing it’s because I wear a HIDEOUSLY wonderful green sweater and green polyester pants (go panty line!) in the “Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher” scene. Anyway, I’d love to get a jump start at the music. My email isaaronkab@yahoo.com. Nice meeting after hearing such great things about you from so many people.

Aaron.

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Hello Seth, darling! So there are a lot of atrocious middle school theatre-geek-wannabe girls that love Wicked with every fiber of their being and think that it’s Chenoweths best show. I PERSONALLY thing that “A New Brain” is so ridiculously fabulous it’s unnatural. Are you a fan?

Haley Naiser

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SETH RUDETSKY

DECONSTRUCT SHOSHANA BEAN.

NOWWWW.

PLEASE =)
loveyou hehe

Danni

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Hi, Seth! First off, I’m a huge fan. You’re amahzing. Secondly, I go to the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, the arts high school down here in New Orleans, and heard you might be coming? Please do! We all love you!

-Josh

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Hey Seth,

I was recently rediscovering “The Q Guide to Broadway” and was totally shocked to find a factual error. I thought to myself, “Seth Rudetsky can’t get his Broadway stories wrong,” but I then checked the facts and discovered that you were actually incorrect.

You see, on page 145 in the section on Gay Characters in Musicals, you write about Hugh Jackman as Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz. You write: “Previously, Hugh had starred in the Australian version of The Boy From Oz, and the went on to play Curly …” which is actually incorrect. The Broadway run was the first time Hugh played the role (Todd McKenny, a relatively unknown Aussie entertainer played the role in the original 1998 Australian run). Hugh did however repeat the role in a 2006 Aussie arena production after the show closed on Broadway in 04.

I feel blasphemous correcting one of my idols (aka you) but I could not let the mistake go unnoticed.

From Jono Ware

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Love you on Sirius! Help please…What’s the name of the cabaret/club that all the B’way stars go to on Monday nights and do some off-the-cuff performing?

Susan

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Seth!! You are fab in every way, shape and form!
Question - when will you be the guest at the Triad autobiography series?? I wanna make sure I don’t miss you! :)

p.s. my tap shoes that you signed at the flea market make me smile every time I look at them. XXX

Annie

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The Straight Man’s Guide to Broadway Show Tunes64
By Mike the salesman

keeping your virility while enjoying Ethel Merman
A couple of years ago, I got a new car, A very manly Dodge truck. It came with the new sirius radio.Rifling thru my 100+ stations, I found my self strangely drawn to channel 77…Broadway show tunes!

At first, I was horrified and ashamed, but I couldn’t stop. I would be cruising down the Alabama interstate, passing manly men with “Roll Tide” stickers, or hunting rifles in their trucks, while I was secretly singing”:I’m gonna wash that man right outta my hair” In Alabama, this is not a good thing!

The whole issue came to a head(no pun intended), when I left my radio on 77 at the car wash.The guy looked at me strangely as I handed him his tip.Once in the car, I realized what had happened.The very funny D.J, Seth Rudetsky, openly gay, was talking about his “amahzing” boyfriend. He thought I was..G..G. GAY!

Well, being as straight as I can be, but being addicted to Broadway, made me realize at once, that some guidlines have to be laid down.I am going to try to point out some DOs and DONTs, for the non gay, Broadway listner.

First of all, some Broadway shows are much more acceptible to talk about than others Anything with war, or fighting , or politics is safe ground. These include Grease, Miss Siagon,Evita,and even Jesus Christ Superstar and Phantom of the Opera.

While Jersey Boys is safe, You dont want to start whistling Abba tunes from Mama Mia.Rent has enough tetesterone edge to it, but avoid Wicked.Under NO circumstances Ever Ever EVER admit to even having heard of Ave. Q

When talking about Broadway performers, use discreation. Instead of describing Patti Lupone’s voice as “fabulous, and very good range”.. Say, man she has a decent voice and a great rack. This will put any doubt to rest.Refer to the blonde girl from wicked as”that Reese Witherspoon looking girl” , not Kristen Chenoweth.

Avoid experlatives, such as wonderful, cheery,drop dead gorgeous, etc..You can easily substitute bad, bitchen , and cool,

Always keep Espn, or a suitable guy station on your preset, incase of emergency. Always use discretion and judgement.For example, if “Luck be a lady tonight” comes on, dont shout”hey ..that’s from Guys and Dolls, everybody”.. Instead say, “Is that Sinatra or Brando singing.”See the difference?

If these tips don’thelp, and your friends still question you,….SCREW them! You like what ya like! Don’t give up your Show tunes! hubpages.com+mike+the+salesman

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Seth,

I am dying to find out if there is a way to purchase the version of “A change is gonna come” by Otis Redding as performed by Cheyenne Jackson for New York Civil liberties Union Benefit. I fell in love with the song from the YouTube Video..I must have

Lee Laforge

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Seth! You are fabulous and a-MAH-zing! I sincerely wish that one day I get a spot on your daily shout-out! The world needs more people like you in it who find joy in the small things like vibrato and turning D’s into L’s (hello, Barbra!)
You should deconstruct Drew Sarich one day, his voice is fierce!

Ally

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Now that you met Liza at Rosies show, how about having her at chatterbox. She has no shows on Thursdays

Stu Diamond

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So This is not necessarily a question, but more like a suggestion. I noticed people asking you for Sutton Foster deconstructions as you have not done one as of yet. So in case you’re thinking about doing one in the near future, I wanted to tell you about one of my favorite Sutton recordings which I believe showcase her voice quite well:

So, it’s “There’s Nothing Rougher Than Love” from the Jule Styne in Hollywood CD which is “amaaazing”. She does her signature old school belt but still keeps everything in a mix register…? Dunno how her voice works, BUT I’m obsessed with her Spin Vibrato within the first verse in the words :
“weaTHER” “floWERS” “All those Torch SONGS”, and “After HOURS”

And then Of Course perfect straight tone into vibrato when she sings:
“Once you’ve Found”….(Straight tone into Vibrato on the word Found) belted C
“But There’s…….(Straight tone into Vibrato on the word There’s)
“Nothing like it at All…..” (Straight tone into Vibrato on the word All) belted C

If you already know this song or have gotten WAY too many Sutton Foster requests , then my apologies, I just thought this was a good song to deconstruct , as I’m sure some of us are a little sick of “Gimme Gimme”…

Anyway, you’re wonderful, Big fan, YadaYadaYada….

Jason

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Seth! You’re AMAHZING! My dream is to be deconstructed on your vlog or to be interviewed on Chatterbox. You should deconstruct Drew Sarich as he is fierce as hell (I’m VERY interested to see what you think of his technique, as it’s not exactly conventional and he’s a divisive performer). Keep being fabulous!!

Al

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you are psychotic! but i love you - first saw you on that “Legally…Elle Woods” show on mtv - died laughing (why WAS the title of that show so long??). just read your book, hy - sterical. you are an inspiration to me.

love, danny

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Hi Seth,

You probably don’t remember but I’m the dude who sent you that e-mail about your amazing Hair concert in which I dissed RuPaul (for which I once again apologize) and I just wanna know if you’re planning on doing any deconstructions from The Life. I’m kinda in love with that score right now and as we both know, Lillias White is amahzing.

–Matt

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I thought you might enjoy this:
Prop 8 - The Musical
(starring Jack Black, John C. Reilly, etc.)

Rona

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Hi Seth,

I hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving. It was fun meeting you and learning your very catchy song for the Broadway Goes Green event. Have you downloaded the photos you took? Would you mind sharing? I would love to see them.

Many thx! Marni

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Hey, just a simple wee message ^.^

I’m a massive broadway fan (currently an acting student- going onto musical theatre after this course). Found you through searching Lillias White on youtube and got your deconstruction. I have an unworldly obsession with her (probably because i didnt think there was another girl out there who spelt her name the same as mine (with three Ls)- then to find she’s the voice behind my favorite songs in my favourite disney film when i was a kid AND a broadway star…. too much… too much!) and i thought you’re deconstruction was brilliant!

So yeah. I just like being friendly really and leaving little comments across the interweb…. so yeah… much love from Scotland and one of the 3 Lillias’ (with three Ls) in the world today (that i’ve found so far!)

Love love!

Lillias (with three Ls)

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ilove your show im your biggest fan EVER!
and im your biggest for sure because your my idol

Hannah

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I just got Sirius and you are my favorite show. I now find my husband singing Broadway when he thinks that I’m not looking. He is the one who reminds me when you are on. Thanks for being amaaazing!!!!

Tania

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Seth-
Remember me from Oberlin???
I borrowed my husband’s car yesterday to drive down to Toledo (I play with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and live in the metro Detroit area) and turned on his Sirius radio and found the Broadway channel. I heard a voice, and without you mentioning your name, I said aloud “That’s SETH RUDETSKY!!!” Wow…I’ve been on your website, and I’m amazed at all you’ve done!!!!

Congratulations on your magnificent success!!!!

Best wishes…
and fond rememberances of life around the Con!!!

Caroline

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Hi Seth!
What’s up with the Sirius contest and the Broadway show choice? Why would I want to go with Cousin Brucie? That should have been a Broadway show with Seth Rudetsky!

Shea

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I just discovered you because our new car has Sirius - yippee! My kids love to listen to Broadway tunes, and my 5-yr-old daughter likes to say “Amaaazing!”

Do you have any recommendations for Original Broadway cast recordings that kids in particular would enjoy? Also, any film versions of classic Broadway musicals that they might like? They are boys ages 10 and 8 and my amaaazing daughter, age 5.

Thanks!

P.S. I am obsessed with Farah Alvin’s performance of Solitaire. I can’t stop listening to it. –Laura

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Love your Sirius show!
(Esp your recent Purim/gregor reference at the Tale live show)
Yesteday - heard “the column” on sirius but can’t find source show of this on Intenret. Can u help?
Tx
Jamie

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Hi Seth, I met you last summer, when you played the piano for Betty Buckley in Dallas, I was wondering what was your favorite musical that you played in-Blake

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Hey Seth, I don’t know if you’ve heard of David Phelps but he is this gospel tenor with an absolutely breathtaking voice and I’d love for you to deconstruct a song of his.-Mike

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Seth, I feel the need to share 40 years of collection original cast albums and movie soundtracks with someone who will appreciate them. Where should I try and sell them either online or in person? Any suggestions?? Tom

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hey seth,
i hope this finds you well…was listening to Sirius earlier and you played Dorothy Loudon doing “I’m Still Here” Is that on a CD that I’m not aware of?! I must have it…Many thanks, Scott

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Hello…love you …love your work and writing! I have to know where you got the Golden Girls Shirt you are wearing with Rue? PLEASE! I have to have one!-DAvid

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Broadway Nights - love it!

OMG - the way you infuse behind-the-scenes Broadway with the neurotic search for a meaningful connection - great! Like my own life (only without the glamour of Broadway) Loved it!

I have to know tho’ who the belter is who dissed the chorus in a “famous Lloyd Webber show” (pg. 274)

-Patti? I thought she was the friend of everyone (except Mr Lloyd Webber - but he did buy her a pool - he he)
-Betty? not sure
-Sarah Brightman? Risky for a foreigner.
-Glenn Close?

Love Broadway and everything you guys do!!

Can’t wait for the next one!

Thanks for the great read!! (should I put this on amazon?)

Scott

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Dear Seth:

Love your deconstructions. You wouldn’t by any chance take on the hugely talented and largely neglected Ronee Blakely in character as Barbara Jean singing “Idaho Home” from the film Nashville?

x Maeve

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Can you possibly deconstruct the movie musical Mamma Mia?I’m dying to hear your take on the celebrity singers.-Emily

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First off, I’m a big fan. I love your books, your blog, those crazy deconstruction videos; all of it. It’s great!

I have a question, and I figured your professional opinion could help. I’m a junior at Oceanside High School, and my school musical this year is most likely going to be “Bye Bye, Birdie” (original, right?) I’m a mezzo soprano with 6 months of vocal training and virtually no vibrato (AKA, I’m clueless).The past two years, my audition songs have been some of the biggest mistakes and embarrassments I have made in my high school career. If you could recommend a song, I’d appreciate it SO much.

Thank you!
Lizzie

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Hi Seth,
Listen to your show on Sirrius daily Love it. 10/30–you mentioned a new Broadway book that sounds like how they make the show? Could you tell me the exact title and where it will be sold?
Thanks,

Bobbie

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Please consider putting your audio on a podcast on Itunes!!

xxx-Juan

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Dear Man, I can’t find your email anywhere, so am contacting you here. I loved your show and all of the Playbill column about everyone and ll your doings. As I told you, you are the real deal and I’m honored to have been part of your week. Thank you.
xoxoxo Karen

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I’m obsessed with “Caroline, or Change.” Tonya Pinkins tore the sh*t out of that role. But my brother just asked me what the title means and I totally BSd an answer. Is it a definition? Is Caroline synonymous with change? (Or should it be?) Or is it a comparison? Caroline = stasis, or transition. Or am I just full of it?

How do you feel about the show? I’m upset Caroline doesn’t get the credit it deserves because of the rest of that season. Wicked, Ave Q, Taboo, Bombay Dreams… thoughts?

Thanks,
G

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Hey Seth! I have so gotten into your videos right now and they are amazing. I’m currently studying Music Theatre at The Conservatorium of Music at Mackay, Queensland, Australia and am amazed at the deconstruction videos of singer’s voices you do. I’ve got a couple of questions:
1) How do you suggest an Australia (me haha) go to America to get work on Broadway?
2) Would you ever come to Australia to do some master classes at all becuase I know we’d love to learn.
3) I’m a tenor with a pop music background rather than music theatre and am much comfortable singing in my falsetto. Is there any way to make my falsetto sound thicker rather than thin and is there any exercises to bring my sound more forward to what you call ‘the mask’?

Thank you very much! Love your work and keep the vlogs coming! WOOT!-Sean

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first of all, your site is terrific! soooo happy.
second: i have lost brad garside’s number- and your being the broadway guru that you are i figure you can find it for me (or have it) can you assist?
thanks
xxx
jennifer
(from sirius duh)

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When will you deconstruct some Laura Benanti? I know you hate Little Lamb, but… maybe Unusual Way or something else? Firgive me if you’ve already done it and I missed it.–Eileen

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Hey Seth!
What’s your thoughts on all the show’s that are closing on Broadway? Also what do you think about the new show’s coming out?–RYan

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Hey Seth, I heard that union musicians get 1800 a week. If someone subs for them, do the subs get any money? or is it just like a volunteer?-Azuah

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the time has come, dear Seth, to deconstruct the flawless Judy Kuhn (I’m not sure even she realizes how good she is, so help her out). The obvious deconstructing choices might be “Rags”, “Nobody’s Side”, and, of course, the final key change in “Someone Else’s Story.” And if you need her “Vanilla Ice Cream”, lemme know.

with love always, Greg

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Hey Seth you know what one of my goals in life is to meet you becuase you are like so awesome! But anyway I want to know how is New York City at night? I heard its way beautiful! But yet I also heard it’s scary cause people get mugged. :(  -SAmi

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Hey Seth, I’m a bass and when ever an audition comes around I’m constantly searching for that one song that shows off my voice. I cant find any thing but boring slow song, I know basses are very rare in musical theater but do you have any suggestions? my range is from a low c2 to d4.-Craig

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hey Seth! you are phenomenal!!!! i loove watching your blogs on youtube and i loove your website!!!! kepp doing what you do best!!!! -Jamie

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Hey Seth!
First, I loved your Julia Murney deconstruction. Especially b/c Wild Party (Lippa’s) is one of my favorites!
Second, I’m trying to convince the director at my school to do Hair for next year’s concert musical. He says he doesn’t have a problem with the nudity and stuff, but rather with the drug use. Since you have done Hair for the Actors’ Fund, what do you suggest to do with the show to make it have less drug use. Thanks
Ben

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Hey Seth:

Wondering what your thought is on all these great Broadway shows closing? Any great new shows you would recommend or are any new ones coming that you are excited for? Love the new site and you. Blessings!-Sara

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Thanks for the great idea bout brinin the parents together! Im sure all the other kids parents will talk to him. Yeah our principal has like major paranoia about laws, rules. ect. The dude almost canceled my “approved” bake sale for my writing club! Hey do you have any tips for training how to play piano both hands at a time? I am teaching myself, and i have a coordination problem. >. –Shelby

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Re: Musical Theater Queens…
You’re right. While the term doesn’t feel derogatory to me, personally, putting it out there in the world is totally akin to gay people calling each other “fag”, which has always made me bristle. It gives people permission to deride, etc.

Seth, do you know anything about “Robber Bridegroom” in terms of available recordings, etc.? I did the show years ago and the music is so gorgeous and I have always wondered why it’s not done…(the rape? um…maybe that has something to do with it…)

Thanks for the reply to my last comment!
Mark Insko

I don’t remember it too well, but they did it in my sumer camp (USDAN) and I loved it!  Emily Skinner has a great recording of SLEEPY MAN on her RAW AT TOWN HALL CD.

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Seth! In BROADWAY NIGHTS you talk about someone “not exactly smelling like Nancy Dussault.” Is she known for smelling particularly un-homeless?-John

It’s a part where Stephen is trying to find out how old my therapist is.  He wants to know if she was around in the early 80’s but not be obvious, so he says, “That homeless guy next to me on the subway was standing way too close to comfort…and he didn’t exaclty smelll like Nancy Dussault”.  Stephen thinks it’s a less obvious way to find out her age.  It’s not based on a olfactory evidence of Nancy.

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Wow, I listen to you on Sirius and just was checking out your site and it’s GREAT! Can you find me a boyfriend that’s just like you!! Visiting NYC from Florida this week; can you suggest any “broadway” piano bars for after shows?-Alfonso

There’s always ye olde DON’T TELL MAMA on 46th and MARIE’S CRISIS on Grove St.. Classics!

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Way back when in your playbill.com column, you wrote about Marc Shaiman, and how he had dreamed of working with Bette Midler… ending that particular paragraph with the following: “I told those kids that this story goes to prove that they can be obsessed with someone today and wind up hanging out with them in a few years.” (Was it silly to just quote your blog to you?) But I wanted to say how much this meant to me, and how I much I hold onto what you said. I dream of being a theatre photographer, and there are times when it seems impossible and just a daydream of mine, but then I remember what you wrote and I just keep working toward it, because maybe one day I’ll have a chance to make amazing portraits a la Amy Arbus’ “The Fourth Wall”. So thank you, Seth, for allowing me to keep dreaming! Your words are such inspiration to me.

Love, Tiffany
YAY!  It’s true!  So many people I grew up OBSESSED with I have gotten to hang out with..and some have become my friends.  Every Friday night I’d go to my friend’s (Kenny Tobias) house to watch SCTV.  We were obsessed with Andrea Martin…and I just spent last Friday with her!  Keep on working it!

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Hi Seth! I just want to say that you are fabulous!!! I love reading your playbill columns and watching all your videos..I had to stop reading/watching at work because I was laughing too hard!! Ahywhooo–

I was wondering what your take is on all the show closings? First [tos], Xanadu, Legally Blonse and now Spamalot, Hairspray AND Spring Awakening!!! What’s going on?!?! There are going to be a lot of sad theater fans (including me) come mid-January!

Also, what new (aka revivals and original) shows are you looking forward to for next season? Any inside gossip? - Kim

The economy is tanking and Broadway shows are too expensive.  The shows that are closing have nice long runs (except TITLE OF SHOW) so it’s not that devastating….but….I think we’ve seen the end of the BROADWAY INNER CIRCLE $450 ticket for a while.  As for the new shows, I’m psyched for WEST SIDE STORY ’cause I love it…and to see Angela Lansbury in BLITHE SPIRIT. She’s still got it!  As for inside scoop, Tituss Burgess from LITTLE MERMAID (Sebastian) is gonna be Nicely Nicely in GUYS AND DOLLS and he’s amazing!!!!

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Seth,

Love your show. You are the best connection to broadway the gays in La Crosse, WI have! Anyway, wondering if you ever would come play for us? Maybe with a friend? We host a HUGE Show Choir, Vocal competition with about 2500 students from 6 states and are looking to add a master class to educate and entertain all these broadway lovers in the midwest! It is Friday, March 20 2009. We would love to have your talent, humor and exceptional good looks be our official Broadway Master Class Kick Off! If you would like to discuss this more, I would be happy to share more information and get your details, including compensation :) so you can come share with a bunch of great students in the midwest!

Thanks for all you do to bring Broadway to our home!

Tim Rortvedt

YES!  Email me with deets!

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Seth,

Just wanted to say, I picked up your book this weekend at Theatre Circle while I waited to go see the final performance of [title of show]. (It was the last one on the shelf, you might want to tell them to reorder ;-) Anyway, I read it on the bus ride back to DC, and I just wanted to thank you for giving me something funny and sweet to take my mind off the emotional overload that was [tos] closing night.

Of course, you also made me want a Mason of my very own (well you and Michael & Jeff during the closing speeches), so perhaps I shouldn’t be thanking you so much as sending you my therapy, match.com, and bar bills. ;-)

Brava! It was A-mah-zing, and keep up the great work!

– Jack

Yay! So glad you liked it.  FYI Mason is played by Jonathan Groff on the Audible.com version so I could record it with him and live out my real life crush.

-SETH

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Seth,

You’re great! I love watching your videos; they’re very informative. I have a question regarding Falsetto vs. Head Voice. What exactly is the difference? If there is a difference, do women only use Head Voice for those upper notes in the 6th Octave. Can they use Falsetto, or do men only use falsetto?–Hector

Falsetto and head voice are the same things.  ”Falsettos” and “Falsettoland” are sort of the same things, but Act One is “March of the Falsettos”.  Anyone?

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Seth — I’m working with some amazing high school kids in Alabama. I need a kick ass song from a Broadway show for a young African-American tenor who can sing his face off. Any suggestions? Thanks!–Elyzabeth

Hmm…what about BEETHOVEN DAY from “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” (’99 version). Or I GOT LOVE from “Purlie”?

-SETH

hey seth! first of all i love your show and think you are absolutely hysterical! i’m 15 years old and love musical theatre, and would love to do more with it when i am older! i’ve heard about BAA, and was wondering if you had any info about it? That would be wonderful! and my school is doing joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat, and would love to be the narrator, but having trouble finding a song, any tips?–Rebecca

I think they have a website…don’t know what it is!  Google it.  Broadway Artists Alliance.  As for the narrator, do a story song that goes high!  Meadowlark?  Cut down because it’s super long!

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Thanks so much for your advice. See i have tried to get clubs started and do shows. But the school i am attending, it is the first year it is open. and we have no theatre. (made me want to cry when i found out) we wont have it for another year in a half. Principal wont even let us do theatre in the quad. But i enjoy the company of the few theatre enthusiasts at my school. One more question? who did all the lovely drawings on your site? They are beautiful! Take care.

-Shelby

The drawings were done by Ryan Roach from Texas.  Love ‘em!  Why don’t you have your parents team up with some other parents and write a letter!  Why would your principal not allow theater?  Go talk to some teachers and get a coalition going!

-SETH

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A year after I requested it but THANK YOU SO MUCH for deconstructing Raise the Roof!!!!!! GUNNAAHHHHHH!!!! I looooove it. I had to wake up early today and I was all blahhhrghhh but then I watched that and now I feel good. I love those deconstructions because you always point out the same things I love too, but since I basically have no music knowledge I don’t know the WHY until I see these. :)

~Jess

Yay!  She’s amazing!

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Hi Seth!
I met you at Legally Blonde in Baltimore! You are awesome.
I have a quick question. Could you PLEASE interview Becky Gulsvig and Natalie Joy Johnson for Sirius Live on Broadway? Thanks, (Your B.F.) Jack (hahaha) We can only do people who are here in NY! -SETH ———————————————————————————— Hello Seth, I just bought a new car that only has xm radio. Will I be able to get your Sirius show on XM? I hope so because I really love listening to you on Sirius.–Mitch I think once the merger fully goes through, it will be available! Get my audio version of BROADWAY NIGHTS so you can hear my nasal voice in your car for the time being!  www.Audible.com/Broadwaynights ———————————————————————————— Hi Seth! Love your blog and you column! Your blog gives me something to look forward to everyday! I’ve noticed that you tend to deconstruct mostly belters, and I was wondering if you planned on deconstructing any high sopranos anytime soon? Not that I don’t love your deconstructions of belters, it’s just I’m a soprano so I was just wondering. Also, I’m planning on majoring in stage/production management when I go to college next year, do you have any advice on how to get into something related to stage management before college? I’ve done stage crew and lights for a few shows, and I’m the “Producer” of my drama club (which is like president of the club, except we have a president too), is there anything else I could do in the mean time? Thanks for taking the time to read my question! -Casey Go to any local theater and ask if they need help.  They probably would be thrilled!!!  Also, I am planning on doing a Barbara Cook deconstruction! -SETH ———————————————————————————— Seth! Let me start off by saying that I beyond love you! I am 14 and from San Diego, CA. I always listen to you on my Sirius Radio and I have read your books several times. I also met you one time when I was in New York with my mom, but I dont think you remember, but you signed my book and I got a picture with you and I have your book in display in my room! I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE you so much and I am getting all my friends hooked on you too! I also have some questions for you: 1. I am having a hard time finding good teen audtion songs and monolouges that I like that are good for my age (14). So you know of any plays and musicals I might be able to find good ones. Any songs that aren’t so much about love, as they are about ambition.  Astonishing, Not for the Life of Me, Someday I’m Gonna Fly (from THE YEARLING), Sidewalk Tree (from RAISIN) 2. I go to a high school where the theater is super competetive, so I was wondering if you have any audition tips. Go to JackPlotnick.com and read his affirmations.  The main problem people have at auditions is nerves.  Also, don’t try to be anybody else.  The way you get a gig is by showing what’s unique about you. 3. Are you coming to San Diego anytime soon?? Hmm…I’d love to do a Master Class there…it’s so beautiful.  If I get booked there, I’ll post it! Thank You so much for reading this, Alyssa ———————————————————————————— DVD of On the 20th Century…OMG…just saw clip of the overture. You were Totally amAzing..great musical direction…so is this on the “limited” dvd?–Steve That DVD was only for the Actors Fund, so if you got your mitts on it, Brava!  What “limited” DVD do you mean? ———————————————————————————— Dearest Seth , I sooooo enjoy you! I love your knowledge and obsession of broadway. I read Julia has an upcoming show at Birdland but they say no. How can I find out where she is next s I can see her? thanks Lori I’m sure it will be all over AllThatChat.com when she’s doing something! -SETH ———————————————————————————— HELLOOO!!!! I wanted to say that i absolutely love you you are absolutely hilarious!! I heard from a friend that you are coming to colorado and going to be at UNC im a theatre student at DU and was wondering when you will be there?! thank you soooo much!! Jessica Dorcey Huh?  I am?  What’s UNC?  When?  What’s happening!??!! ———————————————————————————— I’ve just gotten turned on to your blog and your deconstructions. I was up all night the other night watching them over and over and laughing! Especially the Julie Andrews story…my God that was funny. Please consider deconstructing Judy Kuhn singing “Rags” from the (seemingly-doomed) musical of that name. Also, please know that you are doing something so special and, as funny as it is, so seriously appreciated by us Musical Theater Queens who have waited for someone to voice our particular LOVE of this very particular art form! All the best, Mark Insko I love her singing RAGS!  She’s amazing!  On a side note, I  don’t like the term Musical Theater Queens.  I find it demeaning.  The implication is that loving theater and music is feminine and therefore, sort of a joke.  I’m obsessed with theater and I’m proud of it!!!!! -SETH ———————————————————————————— Hey Seth, What happened to your appearance at Barnes and Noble in Huntington? I don’t see it on your calendar anymore :( Peace–Maureen I’m still doing it!  Tuesday October 28th at 7:30.  It got removed by accident.  Just put it back on. I’m reading from BROADWAY NIGHTS and THE Q GUIDE TO BROADWAY…  I hope people show up!!!! -SETH ———————————————————————————— Dear Mr. R., You are aware that the Kennedy Center is staging a new production of Ragtime in April of ‘09. No cast announced yet, but it should be a wonderful theater experience. Love your Playbill blog…it’s so full of fascinating info. Take care. Cheers, Phil McDermott Yes…totally forgot.  Bring it to Broadway!!!! -SETH ————————————————————————————

Hey Seth! I have a few questions for you that I’ve been dying to ask you. Well I’ll start off by giving you a tid bit about myself so that you know where I’m coming from. I’m from Florida and 14 years old. I’ve been taking voice lessons since 4th grade so that’s 5 years, and piano for 8 years. (I’m a soprano with a range of A below middle C and a top note of E above high C) I haven’t had much dance experience but I’m a quick learner. Broadway music is my first love! I am an addict :) I am involved with community theatre, and I especially audition for every musical I can get my hands on. Currently, I am the pianist and choral director every other Sunday at 8 AM mass, I am the main teen soloist at my church, and I also performed in competitions such as NATS. Here are some questions I have for you and thank you for responding to my questions. You are a-mah-zing!:

1) How do I put my name out in the showbiz world (Broadway related)? I’ve sang the National Anthem around 15 times at events ranging from baseball games for minor league teams, college games, and banuqet events, and have been the lead at many of my school musicals. How do I get a break?

If you really want to do Broadway, you have to go to Broadway open calls.  Look at Backstage.com for details….shows like Hairspray and Spring Awakening and 13 would be great for you when they’re having auditions.

2) What things do you think would be good in my musical theatre repertoire as a high soprano? (I’ve done PHANTOM, WICKED, OKLAHOMA, SWEENY TODD, and other things like that) Any songs in particular?

Steal material from people’s whose voices you like…I recommend Barbara Cook, Audra MacDonald, Florence Henderson, Jo Sullivan

3) Are there any auditions you know about for teens 14 to 16 that you know about?

The Broadway Artists Alliance is a great way to audition for a BIG group of casting people.  There are lots of kids your age who go!

4) You are so sweet and hillarious. One day I hope that I can meet you! What sort of work do you do with aspiring performers?

I’ve done lots of classes in NY and since doing a big master class in Dallas, I’m setting up travels to different cities to do more. If you know a city with a group of professionals and young aspiring performers, hook me up!  I love it!

Seth Rudetsky, you are my hero! Thank you SOOOO much for answering my super long questions.I’m going to check back on you website everyday because just the thought that you might answer my questions makes me more motivated to become a professional performer. Thanks again!

Thanks, sister!

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Hi seth you are so awesome I’m just wondering I heard that people don’t consider the phantom of the opera as a broadway show but as an opera. is that true? -Sami

I don’t think so, but there I also don’t think there’s a hard and fast definition of an opera versus a musical, so who knows???  I do know it’s an inappropriate place to wear a mask in the pit (see video)

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Hey Seth! First thing I have to say is that I love your Sirius show, and the daily updates on the new and improved blog! I watch the videos so often, that I’ve found myself starting to talk like you. A few friends have commented that I keep saying “yawn” and “anybody? nobody” recently. Haha, anyway, I wanted to ask you if you knew anything about how to get the proshots that musicals use for ads and videos and such. I always obsess over music, but after seeing some shows (like title of show) I really want to watch the whole thing again and again and again to appreciate the dialogue and choreography. I really don’t want to get involved in bootlegging (I’m a law abiding citizen!!) but if these videos were available, my life would be complete!

thanks, Sydney

They’re not available.  Only shows that have been filmed for TV like INTO THE WOODS and soon-to-be PASSING STRANGE are legally available.  As for illegally….

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Hey! So, for the past few times that I’ve been on your site to check your daily shout outs, the sound hasn’t been working!!! not cool!! any idea why that’s happening? is this happening to anyone else?

Ouch!  Hope not!  Maybe you were wearing earplugs like James does when he goes to bed??? (to tune out my babbling)

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Seth Dahlink!

I just got Sirius radio in my new company car. and I stumbled upon your a MAH zing show in the Broadway Channel.. You are too faboo for words. LOVE your show, and I hope to be in Time Sq some Wednesday so I can stop by and say hello to you!! Be well and keep up the great work!! –Joe

Brava!  I have great guests coming up including Orfeh and Charlotte D’Amboise!  Check the calendar icon on the side of my website

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Hey Seth!

I don’t know where to begin! Well, first off, I am so inspired by all your work and the enormous versatility, talent, and passion for the industry that you have. (Who else deconstructs Broadway singers in full depth?!)

Anyway, I’m a 17 year old aspiring pit musician entering college next year. I’m a pianist (and clarinetist/flutist on the side), and my passion in music is THEATRE. I was trained classically, but I honestly have the scores to shows including Phantom, Spelling Bee, and Sweeney on my shelf which I play incessantly…don’t ask how I got them haha ;-) My question for you, though, is how did you approach getting jobs/subbing right after college? I read your amazing reply to a poster below which gave me a lot of insight, but I’d like to know how you got your name around right after graduating? Did you do various gigs separate from subbing and theatre stuff? Thanks so much for your time! (And reading this longwinded schpiel) –Mark

It’s like what I said in the other letter.  I literally dropped off my resume at stage doors.  Also, I did whatever job came my way AKA I went to piano bars and got gigs there and because I did summer stock in college I knew actors from that who lived in NY who would call me to play auditions for them. That’s a great way for other music directors to know who you are because often times they’re behind the desk watching the audition.  Sometimes after I’d play, they’d ask for my card and that led to other work.  The more people you know, the more people you know.  It just keeps building!

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Hey Seth!

First of all, I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times but you are amazing!! I absolutely looveee your daily shoutouts so I can get a little Seth everyday. I was wondering if you have a section on your website where you save all of your old daily shout outs? I missed one the other day and heard it was hilarious, so I really want to see it. Thanks so much!

- Carina

Hmmm…i’ve been doing my “best-of’s”….you think I should list them all?  Interesting…let me think about it!

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Hey Seth! I just want to THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!! I emailed Michael Lavine for sheet music that I couldn’t find online, and he’s got almost all of it!! (Tons of musical theater sheet music. What more could a boy ask for? Also I loved your recent deconstruction of Norm Lewis. I’m in once on this island right now as Armand, but hopefully I’ll be understudying Agwe so that really helps. Can’t wait for more deconstructions to come! Ben

p.s. Norm Lewis=Delicious Voice!

Thanks for telling me it worked out.  For those of you that need music, his email is Broadwaymhl@aol.com

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I saw Spring Awakening with my 84 year old grandma and the other ladies who lunch the other day. “Spring” with “Sex” and “Awakening” with “Onstage.” Nothing like broadening their Musical Theatre knowledge!–Greg

Wow!  Brava to them for going!    AND taking their heart medication in advance

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Hey Seth - Just wanted to say how talented, witty and hysterical you are! I only renewed Sirius because of you!!! One question - Do you think Christine Petty’s impersonation of Ethel Merman sounds like Curly from the Three Stooges? She’s talented too, but that one just cracks me up!!! Love U to death!!–Jeanne Tekince

I’ll tell her!!!!  And give her your email!!

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Hey Seth,

it is my goal to be a stage director some day, and i was wondering if you have any advice in stage directing. or being a good stage director. Also any tips on how i can learn, and be apart of more theatre things. My high school drama teacher is a well… not very helpful to students and no one at school really likes theatre. Not much to do since i dont have transportation to the city. Thanks ^^

-Shelby

p.s. your blogs are awesome, love the deconstructions. keep up the good work (^)_^

My theater teacher was a NIGHTMARE and ruined my high school theater experience, so don’t worry about that…AND we all know that it paid off for Priscilla Lopez!  My advice is to watch as many videos of Broadway shows as you can as well as all the great clips on Bluegobo.com.  Try to put together a some kind of show in your school.  Maybe a benefit for a school activity?????

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I am obsessed with Cheyenne Jackson. Do you plan on doing any more deconstruction vlogs about him? Possibly his work in Xanadu or All Shook Up? I think he has one of the best voices on Broadway and really hope he will be doing some good stuff since Xanadu closed. Any scoop on this? And do you think you will be doing any Cheyenne-related vlogs anytime soon?

BTW- Legally Brown is hilarious.. and I love the 5th episode when you talk about contact with Cheyenne.. haha.

Love ya!

Sam

I just read that he signed for a new show by Douglas Carter Beane (there’s an article on Playbill).  I will totally deconstruct him…LOVE his voice!

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hey seth! i am moving to new york city in january to begin my theatre attempts up there. i am from atlanta and have done everything possible down here..but as you know atlanta is no new york. anyways i am looking to continue acting, dance and vocal lessons there and was wondering who you would recommend up there? new york is home to some of the greatest and also some of the worst instructors lol.. and i really want to be with some respected instructors!.. my teachers here have given me some peoples names but i was wondering who YOU personally think gives the best instruction up there for these three things?–Sarah

I think Judy Blazer, Ric Ryder, Matt Farnsworth and Vickie Clark are all good teachers.  Broadway Dance Center and Steps are pretty standard places to take dance.  As for acting, I have no idea.  A great musical theater audition class is taught by Sara Lazarus  (Saralazarus@comcast.net)

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Would you be able to reccomend a broadway vocal coach in NYC or LI? I can not make the singers symposium and wanted to find a new voice teacher. I am in need of one who teaches strong support so I don’t get hoarse while speaking or singing! I am trained but not classically trained. BTW…I love your show! Thanks!–Jen

Try Judy Blazer!

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I was wondering was there ever a vocal selections book made for Caroline, Or Change? I have been pulling my hair out trying to find it online. I wanted to get some pieces from the show for auditions. Do you know where I might be able to find it? I already tried colonymusic.com. -Joy

Michael Lavine has ALL music!  Email him at Broadwaymhl@aol.com

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Your sister’s iced coffee/cockroach story reminded me of a similar ordeal that happened to me about 15 years ago (but I’ll never forget it). I got a chocolate milkshake from The Flame diner on 9th Avenue delivered to my office along with my lunch. I was doing the same thing with my straw on what I thought was a piece of frozen ice cream that kept clogging the straw. When I got to the end of the shake and took off the top, I saw it was not frozen ice cream at all, but a large used band-aid (complete with blood on the gauze pad) that must have slipped off the tip of the shake maker’s finger! HORRIFYING! I called The Flame to complain and they asked if I wanted another shake at no charge. I told them no thank you, it was going to be enough of a struggle to keep the one I had just eaten down.

On the positive side for weight maintenance, it did keep me from having milkshakes for about 8 years. -Ileen

Hilarious…and horrifying

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I am so obsessed with Norm Lewis, but can not find anything about his solo cd! Do you know when it is finally supposed to come out? I heard summer of ‘08, but that has come and gone! -Laura

He’s going to have a CD release party at Joe’s Pub in December!

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I adore you and your blog. I was wondering if you could give me any advice as to breaking into the business as a music director? Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much. -Kory

Take out scores from the library and start playing through them.  It’s a great to learn shows!  Also, practice tranposing on sight.  It will get you really far as an audition pianist!  I wrote a whole essay about becoming a pit musician at the end of the ask me/tell me section

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I’m responding to your “De-constructing Gavin Creel” video, which was in response to my comment regarding vibrato versus straight tone. I love that you brought out the violin for demo purposes! There may well be people out there who don’t know what vibrato is. I am a trained opera singer / wannabe Broadway star and I guess, I was coming from a place of assuming good vibrato. Afterall, the singers that you play are at a level where good singing is expected, even in this day and age where I think Acting sometimes seems to take precedence over singing in casting.

When fully supported, as you know, vibrato is the natural result. I thought that you thought it was being manufactured by each of those singers and you were pointing out what they were “doing”. Rather you simply point out the result of great technique. I should have known better.

Personally, I find being able to sing straight tone, full voice, and without going sharp or flat, to be a challenge such as in the performance of early music or on that last note of an MT piece that is held straight and injected with vibrato at the end (I love that!). That is what I meant by straight tone being more difficult than vibrato.

I’m also not a huge fan of the American “rrrr” sound as you are, but I know that’s a style preference. It just sounds too “Country” for me.

Though I am impressed with wonderful Broadway singers, I guess I am MORE impressed in your accompanying and arranging skills, because I lack those. Perhaps you have a similar relationship to singers since, thought you can definitely sing and act, it seems that playing and arranging are your fortes?
In any event, I’m SO glad to have found you. I do so love everything you do. I just don’t know when you sleep!

Now I understand what you meant about straight tone being harder.  It is hard for those people who sing early music to keep their voices totally straight tone..however, it’s even more hard for me to listen to it! (Boring?  No?)  Anyhoo, thanks for the nice comments sister!!!

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Hey Seth! I was wondering if nodules/polyps can affect whether or not somebody can properly do vibrato. I’ve had a polyp for 4 years and I’ve always tended to have a straight tone, but I’m trying really hard to use vibrato. Any advice? Oh! And do you think surgery is the way to go? Thanks!!!-Beth

Wow!  I so don’t know.  Ask a doctor who specializes in voices…maybe the Actors Fund can recommend one. 212 221 7300

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Thank you so much for your “deconstruction of vibrato” video. As a singer who is constantly feeling pressured to straight tone everything, its so nice to have somebody who knows what he’s talking about support good, healthy singing.

YES!  The new pop sound is straight tone and it’s killing me. Clay Aiken’s first album was so straight tone I can see why he had to finally come out on the cover of PEOPLE.  (to counter-act his straightness.  Anybody?Nobody.)

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hi . you make me laugh . i am 15 and i musical theater lovahhh . your deconstructions are my life . im thinking about doing BAA this year ? thoughts ?

I think BAA (The Broadway Artist Alliance) is a good program.  You get a chance to audition in front of A LOT of theater bigwigs.  And the talent level I’ve seen there is 90% really good!

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Is there anyway to see your Broadway 101?
Did Jonathan Groff sing Morning Glow at the show. I would love to see/hear him sing the whole song. It was so AHMAZING,,,
Is there a way you can post it if they are available?
Thanks, Shari

I can post the rehearsal for you. Keep checking back!  AND we’re planning on doing again March 9th…ON BROADWAY!

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I love all your work, and think your posts are pretty much the highlight of my life.

Anyway, I was wondering what the gay caveman song that malcom gets sings, was from, or by whom. Thanks so much!

It’’s by PETER MILLS…it’s a brava!  I just posted it in my blog section for you!

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I am a Musical Theatre major at Oakland University in Michigan. We’re not a big school but we have an insane amount of talent. We are currently doing Falsettos in which I have the honor of playing Marvin. We have also decided to take donations for BC/EFA. On to my question.
Does it matter which school you go to? We are literally 30-40 minutes from the University of Michigan and I feel that maybe I should have went there instead. What is your opinion?

It only matters what school you go to in terms of training and connections.  If you think your training is good there, then brava.  Your connections might be more limited after you graduate because not a lot of Broadway have gone there, but as long as you sass it at auditions, you’ll be fine!

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I read a few years ago that you were going to do Carrie The Musical in concert with Betty Buckley. Why didn’t that materialize? Also, if you have any inside dirt on Carrie I would love to hear it!

It was too hard for me to get the creators to want to do it again.  I think the score is SO great, but I don’t think I’ll be bringing it to the stage.  For CARRIE dirt, get one of my DVD’s from my Chatterbox website with Betty.  AMAZING stories!

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Okay, I know this is going to make me sound totally out of the loop, but what exactly is “mixing” in terms of vocal singing? What’s the difference between mixing and belting?

I’ll do a video about this!

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The family I live with while I’m at University found a box of old records today. Inside, there were such classic staples as MJ’s Thriller, Bad, etc. As well as two extra special vinyl’s that I had to mention to you:
Barbara Streisand’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (With Stoney End!) and the soundtrack to Yentl!
The family had no idea.. but I was SO excited, they thought I might explode. Which I did.
Have a great day!
Melanie

YAY!  I still remember playing the violin along with “BIllie Jean” when I was a kid!

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Love your radio show!! Where can I find sheet music for Legally Blond the Musical? Can’t get it in my local store and I’m having trouble finding on the web. My daughter sees herself as Elle Woods (someone who is underestimated). Any shot of it being released for community theaters soon?

I so don’t know.  I thought they’d have the music published by now.  Michael Lavine is a great source for music.  Email him at Broadwaymhl@aol.com.  Community theaters probably won’t get the rights til the tour is over.

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Hey Seth, love the Vlog…daily shout outs make my life. I am currently getting ready for MT college auditions (EEK!) and i was wondering if you had some suggestions for good contralto/mezzo soprano songs? I have a crazy low voice (i can hit the lowest note required of a tenor 2 in my school’s choir) but I can get as high as an E comfortably. Big belt and sassy personality to match haha Thanks so much! keep up all the amahzing work! OH and come to Pittsburgh to do a workshop PUH-LEASE!

Wow.  There’s too much to chose from.  Just pick a song that requires some kind of a journey so they can see your acting.  Not just a “I’m in a good mood” song!

When are you going to get around to deconstructing my fave pop singer Carly Simon?

I LOVE HER!!!!!! I will totally do one!

SETH! First of all, love you and everything about you, sassafrass! Anyway–just wondered if you were familiar at all with a guy named Bill Hutton?? He was the original Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (1981-82) and in the off-broadway production of Festival (1979). Oh yeah, and he’s my great uncle and a badass.

I used to play that album all the time!!! I love his last notes on CLOSE EVERY DOOR and the finale! (when he hits “Coat” on a high A!)

Do you ever come to South Florida? If not, please please consider this! Ft. Lauderdale, to be more exact. We have tons of great venus in South Florida (Broward Center for the Performing Arts and Parker Playhouse) to be more specific. Please post if you are coming anytime soon!! Thanks! -Samantha

I am what is known as a “whore”.  I will go to whomever books me!!!! Get me a gig, b*tch!

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I suffer from stress and get incredibly panicked and worried over the smallest things, and your blog and deconstructions are the one absolute thing that is guaranteed to calm me down, make me forget my worries and make me howl with laughter. Thank you! Keep up the hilarious and interesting work. -Els

That is so great!!!!

Wait a minute…Stress?  Panicky?  MOM!?!??!

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I was wondering if there was any videos of Jonathan Groff’s performance or of the whole performance of Broadway 101 either for sale or something! -Lizzy

That show was done as a benefit for THE ACTORS FUND and they usually don’t sell their shows.  BUT I’m planning on bringing BROADWAY 101 to Broadway, so you can come and bootleg it there!

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I just graduated from college with a BA in Theatre and I think I have no employable skills. Any ideas how I can make a job out of being obsessed with theatre? -Greg

Someone else just asked me that.  See if you can get any volunteer work at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS or The Actors Fund.  It will lead to something else  bcefa is 212 221 7300 and Actors Fund is 212 221 7300

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Brothers and Sisters IS an awful show. My awful roommate last year made me watch it every week. But I won’t hold that against James b/c he’s so sweet. So you shouldn’t either…Let him watch his show! …even if it is sucky.-Jess

Sadly, “by accident”, the DVR wasn’t set to record “Brothers and Sisters” so we didn’t get to watch it last night.  (P.S. PHEW!!!!!)

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Ok, so I have seen all of your deconstruction’s and pretty much after everyone i go and buy the song cause i like it so much. But I was just wondering why you have never deconstructed Sutton Foster. I mean I think you like her, but i was just wondering if there was a reason there has been no Sutton deconstruction’s. -Ryan

I LOVE HER!  I don’t know why I haven’t done her yet.  I think she has a solo CD coming out that I’d love do

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Hey Seth! OMG I think you are awesome! i love listening to you on Sirius. Now i have a question. What is it with you and your obsession with belters? I mean, isn’t “belting” just shouting on pitch? i always thought mixing was better for your voice, and has a better sound. Just wondering. And what do you think about thirteen the musical? do you think that and Billy Elliot will be big competion come tony season? -Bekah

As long as mixing sounds like belting, I’m all for it.  I love the sound of the signature Broadway Belt and  I have since I was around 2 years old!  I haven’t seen 13, but I think BILLY ELLIOT is pretty set to win, from what I’ve heard.

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Who is your favorite vocalist to deconstruct that you haven’t deconstructed yet? Also, would you ever do a deconstruction of Darius de Haas or Tituss Burges? They are both great! -Ben

Well, I just did Norm Lewis whom I love and this morning I was listening to Nancy LaMott whom I ADORE!  I need to deconstruct her AND Eva Cassidy.  Both brilliant.  I love love love Darius and Tituss…I will add them eventually, too!

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YOU ARE AMAZING!!! I love listening to your radio show every day! I’m 13 and i was wondering what i should do to try and get into the broadway business? I would love to meet you some day! -James

I would advise you to start taking dance NOW.  It will pay off big time!  Also, any oppurtunity you have to perform  in school, you should take (chorus, the musical etc). AND go to Bluegobo.com and watch videos of Broadway superstars.  Not just the ones you know!  Watch people you’ve never heard of and see why they’re amazing!  Also, go to the library and take out 5 CD’s you don’t know and listen to them.  Decided what you like about them and what you don’t.  Write back!

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If one was visiting New York for the first time, what would be the top 5 musicals you would recommend to see and why? Love you and the site. -Sara

Title of Show, In The Heights, Hairspray, Gypsy, The Fantasticks…enjoy!

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I just wanted you to know that my 10-year-old daughter handed in a school project today that listed all her idols, and guess who was at the top of her list (right above Ethel Merman)? You! Congrats, and keep on bringing Broadway to the (literally) little people out here in the regions. -Wendy

YAY!!!!! How great!  Give her a shout out!

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Seth, you’ve never had Kate Shindle at Chatterbox! With Legally Blonde closing and her being a former Miss America with so many interesting stories and SUCH an AMAHZING high belt, she’d be a perfect guest! Can you please book her?!?!  Other suggestions? Leslie Kritzer (again) and Sherie Rene Scott, who I don’t think you’ve ever had! -Jenny

Wow!  I guess you’re not a super fan.  I’ve had ALL THREE ON THE SHOW!  Sherie’s been there twice and so has Leslie!!!!!

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Hi Seth, It’s Alissa (who emailed you). You said to send you the questions for my article through your website, so here I am. Thanks again for taking the time to answer these! It really means alot.


1) How long have you been involved with BC/EFA?

I was the rehearsal pianist for the Easter Bonnett competition in 1992.  It was SO exciting to me! Then I went on to become the music director and I created around fifteen opening numbers for GYPSY OF THE YEAR and THE EASTER BONNET COMPETITION.  I started doing SETH’S BROADWAY CHATTERBOX in December of 1999.  It’s an hour long talk show and all the admission money goes to BC/EFA as well as the money from the DVD’s sold.  It’s probably raised around $60, 000 by now!
2) Why did you decide to get involved with BC/EFA or what is your favorite part about BC/EFA?

Well, it’s fun to be involved because they put on AMAZING shows and you get to work with fabulous Broadway talent.  And I like how their money is donated to organizations around the country (and world!) that are so appreciative.  I’ve seen the letters they get from small AIDS organizations from places like Alabama and they REALLY depend on the BC/EFA money to keep doing things like delivering food or medicine to people with HIV and AIDS
3) What is your favorite part of the Broadway Flea Market?

I love seeing all those booths with their amazing merchandise…so many fun things to look at.  And I like meeting all the people that come over to my booth.  I work on the radio so I don’t get to know who’s listening to the show.  It’s always nice when I can see an actual face of a listener.
4) Is there anything else you want to say about yourself or your involvement with BC/EFA?

I feel very lucky that I can help out a charity by doing things that I find completely fun.  It wouldn’t as much fun to raise money for them by digging a ditch…nor would I be very good at it….so I think I’m very lucky that I can do what I love and raise money for a very worthy cause!

-Alissa

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OMG!!

I’ve been away from your site for like two seconds, it feels. I come back, and WHOA!! This website is amazing!!! It is everything you deserve in a site and I am happy for you. And for me, because now I have so much Seth material to catch up on, it’ll feel like my birthday every day. You always make me laugh! Thank you for that. Take care. -Amy

Aw, thanks!  Sean Patrick Henry from Expressthis.com did a brava job.  I’m gonna keep uploading new photos and videos every day!

peace out!

SETH

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Hey Seth!
We know how much you like [title of show] and we’re sure you’ve heard about the closing announcement… we were wondering if maybe you could pimp it out on your blog! We’re trying to save [tos] and get as many people as possible to pack it in at the Lyceum.

We’ve got a petition going to get them on Ellen — you totes should sign it and pass it along!
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/221/petition-to-get-title-of-show-on-ellen

Thanks!!
Jamie and Annie
www.supertossers.com

Absolutely!!! AND everyone should go to their site: www.titleofshow.com

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I met you at the flea market yesterday you signed your book for my granddaughter Jesse. Went to see title of show-LOVED IT!! I listen to you everyday and just wanted you to know that your enthusiasm has me coming to NYC once a month to see a show. I’ve introduced Jesse to broadway but of course now she wants to see everything. She is going to see In the heights next. Thanks again looking forward to your next show that i must see. -Linda

Brava!  And thank you for not taking your daughter only to shows “for kids”.  There are so many great Broadway shows that everyone should go to…don’t limit yourself to kid-oriented stuff!

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Seth,

I’ve been reading and following your blogs and youtube channel for a while now. I just move to NYC 2 weeks ago and I’m having trouble finding a job. Do you have any advice on getting a job at a theater, either with management or even administrative stuff? Any advice about surviving in this big city would be great! Thanks Seth! oh ps: help me out and I’ll belt my face off for you! -Jamie

Oy!  I don’t know…but call The Actors Fund…they should be able to steer you in the right direction.

212 221 7300

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Hello Seth!

I just want you to know that this is only the third fan mail message I have ever sent. The first was to Jonathan Taylor Thomas inviting him to my middle school dance and the second was to the lovelies at [title of show]. Let the praise begin: I think you are absolutely brilliant!!! I love Broadway Nights. I love your video blog. I think part of the reason that I feel so much pride every time I hear your radio show, read your articles, etc. is that I’m a fellow accompanist/coach and I love your approach to everything. Many times the piano playing individual usually either a flavorless perfectionist or a complete snob and you are neither. You are talented and fun. I love the stories you tell about how the person in an audition will send the accompanist an evil look when THEY ARE THE ONE MESSING UP!!! Do you ever point out to the person that they are in the wrong or do you just let it go? Singers are crazy and I like that you share this information with the world. This is turning into one long ramble, but what it all boils down to is I think you’re great and that we’d be good friends had our lives taken different turns.

thanks!!!!!!!

I have a few questions for you.
- Does Anne Runolfsson have any other CDs than At Sea? I had never heard of her before and couldn’t find much out on the world wide web.

I don’t think so…  :(
- Have you ever seen a production of Amour? If yes, how did they do the walking thru walls bit? Was it just an “audience, use your imagination” approach or was there fancy lighting? Why wasn’t the show a bigger hit?
I loved it!  I don’t remember how they did it.  I think the show was little too small for Broadway.  Also, they didn’t market it well.  It was such an entertaining and funny show, and they made it look like a small, romantic show about love.
- When can I see Brooke Shields and Molly Ringwald sing Two’s Company together?

Hmm…as Madeline Kahn sang…”Never”?
- Do you ever do a national tour and if so does it include Tulsa?

I am so Theater Obsessed, I thought you meant do I bring Tulsa from GYPSY and I was like what the F!?!?! Now I realize you mean the city!  I would love to do more touring…get me a booking

-Christy

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Seth– you mentioned, today on Sirius Satellite radio channel 77, about a “market” in NYC where the theatres auction walk-on spots and other things. I thought you said there was a link to it off your web page but I can’t find it. I want to know more about the market. Thanks,

David Walton

It’s the Broadway Flea Market.  So much fun…so many stars!  I’ll be at my own booth until around 2…then i have to go to Bucks County for the Cheyenne Amfar Event.

It’s Sunday, Sept. 21st in Shubert Alley.  Go to BCEFA.org for more deets!

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Hey Seth, I’ve been following your blogs for sometime now and was interested in your participation with the Legally Blonde reality show. Over here in the UK we’ve had lots of similar shows - mostly run by Cameron Mackintosh and ALW - which attempt to cast their winners in West End revivals. What are your feelings on this type of reality-TV casting? Many of the contestants are professionals already working in the industry, but sometimes they are newcomers. Do you feel that this new trend will damage or help popularise musical theatre? The shows that these programmes are casting for often turn in huge profits and surely bring many people to the theatre - but at what cost? I was just after your opinion. Tah! :) -Simon

First of all, I love your spelling of “programmes”.  As for these types of show, I think it’s fine.  Theater has always cast shows to try to get an audience.  Sometimes with super talented stars..sometimes to people whose names are recognizable but not their talent.  As long as every show isn’t cast through TV, it doesn’t bother me.  The GREASE show was a too focused on being like AMERICAN IDOL by having them sing pop songs. It didn’t have a lot to do with acting a character in a Broadway show.  The LEGALLY BLONDE one at least had them doing scenes/songs/dances from the actual show. I just didn’t like all the behind-the-scenes drama they added to it!  I would love to see one for Galinda and Elphaba in WICKED!  Belters vs. Sopranos…it’s on!

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Seth, Please consider putting your Studio A Cabaret on a Podcast so it can be downloaded and played on an IPOD. Thanks- Tom Joyce

Broadway’s Best is so Mom and Pop on SIRIUS that I don’t see that happening in the future.  But maybe I can do that with the Chatterbox through BC/EFA. But someone would have to show me how to do it technically because I’m a MORON.

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Hey Seth, I really want to become a Broadway Musician , I’m 17 years old, and I’ve been playing the bass guitar for 3 years now. Is there any advice you could give me so I can hopefully make it someday? -Azuah

This is my debut column on TDF.com and I’ve decided to base each one on email questions I get at my website. I try to answer every email I get, but sometimes I get a question that requires such a long response that I save the email so I can really delve into my answer. Unfortunately, I then forget I’ve saved the email and never actually respond which leads to-

a. people thinking I’m rude

and

b. more than 700 emails saved on my AOL account. Seriously. I guess by now I can delete the ones asking for house seats to CRAZY FOR YOU (closed in 1996), but that still leaves plenty of other ones. So, I’m going to start with a question I got from Logan Culwell. He is a pianist from Oklahoma City and writes “People tell me to start subbing in pit orchestras, but I’m assuming I can’t just walk up to the conductor at intermission and say, “P.S> let me play keyboards for you tomorrow, here’s my resume. Do you have any advice for me?”

That came in the form of an actual letter and I found it while cleaning my house today. But let me say that I also got a similar question in an email from Steven Oliveri and I must apologize to him for the delay because I got that email from him on July 16th. You may think that July 16th wasn’t that long ago, but let me qualify that date by adding that it was July 16th, 2007. All right! I said I had a problem!

Let me first explain what a sub is. It’s essentially like being an understudy. Musicians on Broadway can miss up to 50% of their shows, as long as they have a sub that can play the show exactly like them. So every musician has around four subs that they can use if they’re gonna take off a show. Let me also say that Logan asked the right person about subbing. I’ve been a piano sub on 15 Broadway shows. And my book BROADWAY NIGHTS was originally called SUBBING until my publisher told me that it’s the worst title of a book, ever. Really? What about “Cysts of the Oral and Maxillofacial Regions”? (I googled that, FYI). Anyhoo, Logan’s approach to getting a sub job isn’t so off the mark. You do need to be brazen and get your name and resume out there. And sometimes pushiness works in this business! Right after college, Faith Prince went to see SCRAMBLED FEET with her mother. After the show, there was a question and answer session with the cast. Faith’s mother’s question was: “Do you need another girl for your show? My daughter is very talented!” Besides mortifying Faith, it also got her an audition for the show…and she got it!

After I graduated college, I didn’t exactly approach conductors at intermission, but I would drop off resumes at every stage door asking to be the pianist’s sub…and it actually worked! That’s how I got LES MISERABLES…or as we in the business call it, LES MIZ. Although, in reality, I had already subbed on Broadway by then so it’s not like the pianist was hiring someone with no Broadway experience. So, Logan, let me say that the first thing you should realize is that every person you meet leads to more people you meet and eventually one of them can help you a lot! That’s really how I began subbing…just through a friend I met while playing auditions. After making the rounds for a few years in New York, I met a pianist named Joe Thalken who then got hired on his first Broadway show. I asked him to let me sub for him. And by asked, I mean begged. And pleaded. He said yes and I started training. To train you have to sit in the pit during the show and tape it. Yes, tape it! Calm down, bootleg police. It’s not like you’re getting some fantastic tape of the show, you’re just taping what you’re gonna hear when you sit in that musician’s seat so you can practice with it. On the tapes I’ve made of all the shows I’ve subbed for, you can hear the piano part, the drums and trumpets blaring from nearby. Very rarely do you hear the voices onstage. The next step is learning how to play it technically. This may take a week, or up to three! Some shows are really easy to play: THE PRODUCERS was a great show, but the piano part was mostly playing vamps. Whereas RAGTIME had tons of terrifying solos that required hours of practicing and a Valium on the day I first played it.

Once you know how to play the music, you start practicing with the tape to see how your part fits in with the rest of the orchestra. At the same time, you keep coming to the pit and watching so you see how the conductor conducts. Some conductors will cue you for every entrance, some pick only the really important ones and some ignore the orchestra completely so it’s totally up to you! Once you feel you know how to play everything and you’re comfortable with how the conductor cues/doesn’t cue you, you are ready to rehearse with the orchestra. After all, it’s a Broadway show…you obviously need a few run-thrus with the orchestra before you actually have to play it in front of a paying audience. WRONG!

The first time you play with the orchestra is during an actual performance! AND, it’s also your audition! It’s not like you’re an actor under contract and you’ve been hired to understudy. It’s totally freelance. If you don’t play it well, you’ll never be asked to play again. You don’t have a contract when you’re a sub so you can’t say, “Sorry! I was really nervous. I’ll be better next time.” There won’t be a next time. You have to nail it the first time or lose the gig. Which reminds me of a devastating story I recounted in one of my books. I was subbing KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN for the first time and was scared to death. As soon as I began playing, the conductor Ted Sperling, looked over at me and whispered that there was a crazy vibrato coming from my keyboard. Every note I played sounded like Ethel Merman. Sound technicians were sent in to investigate if there was something wrong with my keyboard or the sound system. I was too nervous to worry about that and just kept playing. Finally, though, I suddenly realized I was so nervous that my leg was shaking uncontrollably on the volume pedal! I lifted it off and suddenly everything sounded normal again. I just stared straight ahead throughout the whole ordeal so it looked like it stopped on its own. If you run into Ted, keep your traps shut.

After I played my first show, I waited nervously to hear if I was accepted… and I was! Yay! My Broadway dream came true. I was finally on the Great White Way. And then the show closed. It was MY FAVORITE YEAR. I call it MY FAVORITE WEEK. But once I subbed there, it led to all my other shows. The conductor got me KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, the pianist there was best friends with the PHANTOM pianist and that’s how I got that, the other sub pianist offered me SEUSSICAL etc. Speaking of SEUSSICAL, that was the scene of my most terrifying pit experience. As I was playing, I noticed something above me: an enormous water bug! He was literally on the ceiling of the pit right over my keyboard! And I couldn’t escape because I was in the middle of playing a five-minute long song. AND the ceiling of the pit is the floor of the stage. So every time someone from Whoville would do any sort of sassy dance step, the floor of the stage would shake/AKA the ceiling above me and I kept waiting for the waterbug to lose his grip land in my lap. I’m not saying I’m thankful that show closed and I don’t have to play in that pit anymore, but you do the math.

Here’s a little pit musician secret: Every musician in the pit has reading material next to their chair for the times they’re not playing. I’m talking “People”, “The New Yorker”, “War and Peace”, “Cysts of the Oral and Maxillofacial Regions” etc. Here’s the thing: if an actor is not in a scene, he can go offstage and relax. If a musician isn’t playing, he’s still stuck in his seat, so naturally he’d want to occupy himself. The worst is being in a orchestra onstage. Those musicians go to great lengths to hide their reading material. But trust me, music isn’t the only thing on their music stands.

The great thing about being a sub, is that you can play a lot of shows at once. During the 90’s, I was playing “How to Succeed…”, “Les Miz”, “Grease” and “Phantom” all at the same time. The most fun was when I’d play a matinee of one show and a night show of the other…I loved the variety. The only bad part is that there is no guarantee of how many shows a week you’ll play. Sometimes I’d play eight performances a week (or even nine, if one of my shows had a Monday or Sunday night show) but sometimes I’d have no (ZERO) shows. So, even though the variety you get while subbing is fun, after a while I was wishing desperately to get my own show full time. Then I got GREASE. Be careful what you wish for.

In conclusion, if you’re a musician, network up a storm and you’ll eventually get offered to sub. Just make sure you practice!

And wear a protective suit if there’s a revival of SEUSSICAL.

Anyhoo, if you have any other questions, new readers from TDF, go to my website at www.SethRudetsky.com. Peace out!

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Seth, I love you and you’re the greatest, but I can’t get over how taken you are by vibrato? Vibrato is is what is naturally produced when proper vocal production is being executed. If anything, straight tone is the more impressive, yet you are always calling attention to it? That would be like me calling attention to how long you hold down a piano key. It’s not the good part.

Everything else you talk about makes great vocal sense and really seems worth pointing out, but I’d like to hear a justification of why you think vibrato is the greatest thing since sliced bread? -Jen

I will do a deconstruction about this.  Stay tuned

SETH

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Hey Seth! I am luhhhving the new website. It’s the kind of wonderful high-tech interactive page that you deserve! I was wondering if, with all your work in New York, you ever teach at theatre camps or workshops during your spare time? If so which ones!? -Elizabeth

I love doing workshops!  I do some for the Broadway Artist Alliance in NY and I go to other cities if I get booked.  If you want one in your town, use this contact page to tell me where!

SETH

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